A Covering

A covering is used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it.  When I begin to think in terms of our spiritual covering that God has provided, my heart is overwhelmed by the depth of God’s love for me.  I know that many have written and spoke on this subject and that my few words will be feeble in comparison but sometimes as one of the Redeemed I just need to say so.

First of all, if something needs covered this means it is vulnerable or weak and needs protection from the elements surrounding it so it will not suffer harm or damage.  When God came to me I was lost and undone and needed my sins to be covered by the blood of His Son.  I am reminded of a couple of scriptures that describe this covering so well.  First in the garden of Eden when Eve and Adam sinned against God and knew they were naked they tried to make their own covering to cover their nakedness and sin by sewing fig leaves together.  But this did not work.  They were still ashamed.  When God came to them in the garden and they confessed what they had done wrong, God himself made them tunics of skin and clothed them.  This highlights that there would have to be a sacrifice now to cover the sin of mankind which would be Jesus’s death upon the cross.  God himself provided the sacrifice that was needed.

The other scripture that I identify with so well is in Ezekiel 16.  In this scripture we find a babe that has been cast out without a father or mother to care for it.  As others passed by no one had compassion or pity for the babe.  But when He passed by, He said it could live.  He spread His skirt over the babe and covered it.  He entered into a covenant with the babe.  It now belonged to him.  He washed away all the blood and anointed it with oil.  Then  He dressed the babe with the best garment and shoes.  Aren’t you glad that when Jesus came by your way that he reached down into the depths of your sin, picked you up, cleansed you, filled you with his Spirit, and dressed you in new garments-made you a new creature and made a covenant with you?

Isaiah 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

I am also so glad that He not only saved my soul but that He is ever present upon this journey of life to be our Protector and Provider.  Many times I think about the mother hen and her little chicks and how that they may be all over the place but when danger arises they flock to their mother and she spreads her wings over them to protect them.  I want to stay under the wings of God’s protection.  A great example of God’s protection is shown when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness.  It took the blood on the doorpost to bring the deliverance but also on the journey through the wilderness God protected and provided for their every need.

Exodus 13:21  And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.

In the desert the heat is unbearable during the day and the nights are so very cold.  The cloud provided them shelter from the sun and the pillar of fire provided heat and light for the night.  At one point the Egyptians were so close that the children of Israel could see them.  They began to worry and complain and blame Moses.  Moses told them that the Lord shall fight for you and to hold their peace.  So the angel of the Lord which went before the camp of Israel removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face and stood behind them.  It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud of darkness to the Egyptians and a cloud of light to the children of Israel and they came not near each other all night.  Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea and the Lord caused the sea to go back all night long to create a path wide enough for the thousands of Israelite’s to cross over.  If anyone had decided to leave the camp they would not have survived.  If you want God’s protection and favor you have to stay in His camp and do His will.

God is in control of everything and I definitely want to be in a place where I can be covered by His protection.  I have been in this way for several years and know that many times in my life that God’s hand has kept disaster and trouble from overwhelming me and mine.  I believe that He can do anything and that He will work on my behalf when I have needs or problems.

Deuteronomy 33: 12  And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

 

 

 

A Brand New Start

One of the toughest we will ever face as human beings is not the fear of failing but the fear of repeating failure.

As we set out to make a new start we struggle to let go of the past (past failures, past attempts, the unkind or harmful words spoken by others, past defeats, past disappointments). The past can be your biggest enemy in the moment hindering you from your future.

1) We must forget the former things – Isaiah 43:18-19

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

2) A fresh start is God’s gift to us – 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

3) There is nothing that can hold us from our future – Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

4) Let us come for a brand new start – Acts 3:19-20

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

 

The Mudroom

First let me say that I am not a dreamer and very seldom ever have a dream that I can remember but I have had God show me things in dreams from time to time. Perhaps because I am simple in nature God quite often uses ordinary things or situations to reveal to me a greater spiritual meaning. I’m a firm believer that God knows how to speak to each individual in a way that they can understand.

The other night I had a dream about a huge wind storm. It wasn’t a tornado but almost to that point. I was in a house with my Mom and my aunt Gertrude (both already gone home to be with the Lord). We were watching the storm through the window when I noticed there were a Hispanic woman and two children outside in the woods. I knew they were in danger and wanted to bring them to safety. I opened the door and shouted to them that it was okay if they wanted to come in out of the storm. They came into house into the mudroom. A mudroom is a room at an entrance to a house where people can leave wet or dirty clothes or shoes before entering the main portion of the house. Since I didn’t know anything about who they were or where they came from I was hesitant about inviting them further than the mudroom. I then heard God speak to me and say, “I didn’t just bring you into the mudroom but I invited you to sit at my table, to sleep in my bed, to have full access to all that I have.” This convicted my heart. I knew my compassion and love were lacking. My love should reflect the same love that God has for me. It humbles my heart to know where He brought me from and I am now a joint heir with Christ-not an outsider. I have complete access to the Father’s house and all His benefits.

I began to study further on this thought and realized that so many times we are just satisfied to be in the mudroom. We are in the house and safe from the storm so we are satisfied with just being inside the fold without enjoying all of the blessings that God has for us. I was reminded of the scripture in II Kings 4:3 where Elisha told the widow woman that she needed to go and borrow vessels from her neighbors and to borrow not a few. I believe that the woman didn’t just knock on 3 or 4 doors to borrow the vessels but I believe that she went through the whole community and knocked on every door to borrow the vessels. Every vessel that she borrowed was filled with oil. She sold the oil, paid off her debt, and she and her children lived off the rest. Hallelujah for God’s amazing grace! If she had borrowed only a few, she might have paid off the debt but then she would have struggled with her everyday living to make ends meet. But her desire to borrow all that she could provided for her family for many days.

I also thought about another situation in II Kings 13:18-19. Joash, King of Israel, had come to visit Elisha who was sick. Elisha told him to take his bow and arrows. When Joash put his hand on the bow, Elisha put his hands over the King’s hands. He told Joash to open the window and shoot. He shot the arrows and Elisha declared this to be the arrow of deliverance from Syria. Elisha told Joash to take the arrows and smite them upon the ground. Joash smote the arrows three times and stopped. Elisha was upset with Joash and told him he should have smitten them five for six times and he would have smitten Syria until they were consumed whereas now he would only smite Syria three times. So many times God wants us to do something for him and because the situation may not improve immediately we get discouraged and give up. God wants us to serve him with a full heart to give him our all and to keep our faith strong and persevere regardless of the situation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

Merry Christmas From Heart of Grace Ministries!

Thought we would share something that reminded us again of why it is far better to give than receive. We got this from one of the residents at a nursing home that we sing at regularly. It blessed us greatly with joy to see it. God bless everyone and may you have a Merry Christmas!

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Keeping Godly Unity

In order to keep the cultivation of unity and anointing flowing we must continue to stay in fellowship with God as well as each other. For when we stand in unity there can be nothing to tear us apart

1 Corinthians 1:10

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Communicate With Each Other – Hebrews 13:16

16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Be Transparent To Each Other – James 5:16

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Support Each Others Obedience – 1 Corinthians 14:26

26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Worship Together – Ephesians 5:19

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Help Those Among You In Need – 1 Peter 4:9-11

Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Give What You Can To Help Each Other – Romans 12:13

13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Remember The Importance of Coming Together – Job 4:3-4

Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.

Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

Help Those Who Are Hurting – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Help Our Neighbor First – Romans 15:2

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Seek To Benefit Your Neighbor – 1 Corinthians 10:24

24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.